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New data portal, new bike commuting data
The League of American Bicyclists is excited to launch data.bikeleague.org today. This new portal allows the public to easily access data compiled by the League’s Benchmarking Project, enabling comparisons on a variety of biking and walking data from multiple federal, state, and local agency sources.
Visit the League's new Data Portal to explore the numbers on people biking and walking
This coincides with today’s Census Bureau release of its 1-year American Community Survey estimates, including updated estimates for bicycle commuting for the nation, all states, and most communities with populations over 65,000.
Using this data, we have updated the following charts on data.bikeleague.org:
- Trends in Rates of Biking and Walking for Commuting
- Number and Percent of Workers Biking to Work
- Number and Percent of Workers Walking to Work
- Percent of Biking and Walking Commuters who are Women
City Data (for the 50 largest US cities)
- Rates of Active Commuting, Large Cities
- Changes in Active Commuter Modeshare, Large Cities
- Ten Cities with Most Bicycle Commuters
In the coming months, look for all data at data.bikeleague.org to be updated to the most recent available. Every chart from the 2018 Benchmarking Report is on that data portal and the data can be downloaded so that you can use it to compare cities and states, or examine nationwide numbers.
In addition, we updated our tracking document for the 70 largest US cities, including Bicycle Friendly Community status for those cities. Overall, bicycle commute mode share decreased 3.3% from 2018 to 2019, the fifth straight year of mode share decrease since a peak in 2014. Mode share is the percentage of people who use a transportation mode, and using Census data it is only possible to talk about the travel of workers. Over the last decade, bicycle commute mode share has a positive trend in 26 of the 70 largest cities in the US, led by Washington DC, New Orleans, Boston, New York City, and Detroit.
A decline in bike commuting is not a reason to pause efforts to making better, safer, places for people who bike. As Randy Lobasso wrote in Bicycling, “A one-year blip in the increase or decrease of bike commuters shouldn’t stop [bike infrastructure] from happening.” In addition, bike commuting accounts for fewer than one in four bike trips.
During the current pandemic “bike boom”, data suggests that the “boom” is likely centered around non-work trips due to greater increases on weekends than weekdays. More physical activity, such as bicycling, helps prevent many of the chronic conditions that make people more vulnerable to serious impacts or death due to Covid-19. And physical activity, such as bicycling, can also positively affect the mental health impacts of quarantine.
Next month, the League is hosting a webinar with Eco-Counter to talk about how bicycle data can be improved through bicycle counters. Especially with Covid-19 disrupting so many commutes, now is an important time to look beyond commuter data – even if it is still the only nationally available data on biking – and we hope that you’ll join us for the webinar on October 28th from 3-4 pm ET. Register today!